Seven reasons to meet in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef

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Seven reasons to meet in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef

The only tropical city in Australia with a professional business events industry, Cairns & Great Barrier Reef delivers meetings and events to remember. Here are the top seven reasons for choosing Cairns for your next conference.

1. A global business event destination surrounded by natural beauty

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef is a natural choice for meeting and event planners wanting all the right ingredients for memorable meetings and incentives.

The modern coastal city of Cairns is the only place in the world with two World Heritage areas side by side, making it the picture-perfect location for events designed to impress delegates.

The Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest offer extraordinary offsite locations and experiences for any group size with the added benefit of a year-round warm climate. 

2. A compact city

Unique to Cairns is its centrally located convention precinct which allows delegates to take ownership of the city. 

The city offers over 8,000 accommodation rooms all within easy walking distance of conference and offsite event venues, retail precincts, dining and nightlife. It is not unusual for delegates to bump into each other when they break from a session to relax at a city café or exercise along the picturesque esplanade.

The airport is only 10 minutes to the city centre so delegates can get straight to business as soon as they arrive.

3. Home to one of the most globally awarded Convention Centres in the world

The Cairns Convention Centre is an award-winning venue that is ideal for business events with 300 – 2,500 delegates. The Centre has just re-opened after a refurbishment, and the expansion underway will add over 10,000sqm of meeting space and is due to open in mid-2022.

The refurbishment provides delegates with a fresh contemporary interior and state-of-the-art technology. The Centre also has new menus showcasing the exquisite produce of the region.

The expansion includes a plenary seating 410 theatre style, an exhibition space, three large meeting rooms, a banquet room that holds 500 people and a terrace with views over the Trinity Inlet. Managed by international venue management company, ASM Global, the Cairns Convention Centre is everything you would expect from a world-class venue located close to pristine natural wonders.

4. Unique off-site venues

Extraordinary experiences are a speciality in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef where skilled and imaginative event professionals deliver creative ways to impress delegates. Outdoor event locations are in abundance thought the region: chose from a rainforest setting where fairy flautists and fire dancers create a magical atmosphere, or under the palm trees overlooking the coral sea, or experience North Queensland culture with an offsite event at an working cane farm.

A choice of unique venues provides the wow factor for special events. Dine in heritage buildings such as a World War 2 naval fuel tank, or on a wharf designed for the transportation of sugar cane.  Nature parks offer casual and interactive experiences that allow delegates to connect and create great memories.

5. Opportunity to integrate memorable event legacies that have a lasting impact on the local community and your delegates

Ensure your event embraces sustainability in a meaningful way with unique Cairns & Great Barrier Reef opportunities to connect to local programmes and legacy opportunities.

Adopt a turtle at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in honour of your conference and get your delegates involved with tracking its progress in the lead up to the event. In special cases, turtle releases can be filmed to play at sponsored events so delegates can see how their contribution helped rehabilitate injured turtles or participate in a teambuilding exercise helping clean the turtle tanks and preparing meals.

Align with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, where many small actions make a big impact. Encourage delegates to ‘Hold the Straw’, ‘BYOB (Bring your own bottle/bag)’ or ‘Sponsor a COTS (Crown-of-thorns starfish) Diver’ to increase the conference impact score which can be tracked directly on your very own Citizens dashboard, showing how your event makes a difference.

Understanding the Great Barrier Reef will create a deeper appreciation for the natural wonder and why it needs protecting. The inspiring staff at Reef Teach and qualified Master Reef Guides are available to educate and enhance delegate reef experiences with educational, captivating and entertaining sessions.

6. Amazing activities for delegates pre- and post-touring

Our region offers everything from the Great Barrier Reef to ancient tropical rainforests, indigenous experiences and the iconic Australian outback.

Tours depart daily for visits to the Great Barrier Reef, tropical rainforest, palm fringed tropical islands and the alluring outback, all offering outstanding opportunities for lasting memories.

On the Great Barrier Reef, you can dive with turtles, swim with whales and spot Nemo amongst the corals. Get up close and personal with the local residents of one of the region’s wildlife parks by cuddling a koala or hand-feeding kangaroos.

Tropical North Queensland offers a smorgasbord of culinary experiences. Enjoy a food and wine experience in the highlands of the Atherton Tablelands where you will find coffee and tea plantations, dairies, tropical fruit wineries and award-winning distilleries.

7. Collaborative and supportive industry

The business events industry in Cairns is renowned for its collaborative approach to hosting business events. Starting with the BEC & GBR team who are there to support event planners in planning of memorable events, to our industry partners who work collectively together to ensure events are delivered seamlessly. Whether it be hosting a site inspection or educational programme or going that extra mile for a bespoke delegate experience, the team in Cairns are here to assist.

Conference & Meetings World is published for the international conference and meetings industry. It tackles the issues facing organisers of international events. The editorial is independent, fresh and news driven, with a global reach.

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